"This movie has been described as an extended-length episode of the clever and well-shot Cowboy Bebop series; an unfair comparison. Knockin' On Heaven's Door, which assuredly takes place somewhere in the middle of the series, follows bounty hunters (or cowboys) Spike, Faye, Jet, Ed and Ein in pursuit of a tremendous 300,000,000 wooloong bounty by the name of Vincent, who has the capacity and drive to remove everyone from the face of the planet. It does sound like just another episode, with raised stakes, but the movie offers more than just that. The art and "camera" movement are much more polished than the series, and the fight scenes (which may be the among if not the best hand-to-hand-to-broom-to-coffee maker combat scenes caught in ink) also reach a higher level of activity and smoothness. The plot isn't convuluted; you'll enjoy it a lot more if you watch at least five or six episodes of the series, but the movie is easy enough to follow and self-supporting.
"_____ the Movie" efforts often take on their own lives, and offer nothing toward the originating series, but Heaven's Door is an exception. The tale perhaps provides some insight into Spike's invulnerability and willingness to enter death or death situations; gives some more color to the "Julia" storyline; and just provides more interaction among the main crew of the Bebop.
Expect many beautifully shot moments to appropriate music, similar to the first Vicious-Spike encounter in the series. Can't go wrong with it, and is at the least, worth your money."
"Just a humble bounty hunter, ma'am."
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 03/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the very popular and successful TV series, "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie" is one entertaining thrill ride that really shows how effective anime can really be when it is done correctly. It's hard to think of a cartoon being so action-packed and involving, but this movie does a splendid job of doing just that. You're plunged right into the nail-biting action that will have you glued to your seat until it is well over.The movie revolves around a bunch of outlaw bounty hunters. In Mars, there's a suspected terrorist running around with a virus that could very well wipe out the existence of human beings. Spike and company decide to take the case, as there is a large reward that will be given to the person or persons who catches the madman. The only trouble is that Spike and the gang have stumbled onto something that is much more than a simple bounty and end up discovering a big conspiracy that will throw their lives into ultimate danger. The action and excitement never ends until the shocking finale.I watched the movie TWICE in one day. Right after I had seen it for the first time, I had to immediately watch it again. You know a movie is powerful when it has that kind of effect on you. Very rarely do I run into movies that make me want to watch it again right then and there. When you're watching "Cowboy Bebop," you really don't view it as an animated feature, but as a real living and breathing film. It is done that well. And, the great thing about this movie is that you do not have to have seen the show before. I watched this without seeing any of the shows and was able to follow it without any problems. Of course, chances are that you will want to watch the series after viewing the movie. The story is well thought out and appropriately structured. There isn't a single dull moment in the entire movie.A little warning; although this is an animated feature, the movie is rated R. While it is certainly more mild than most anime, the movie does contain violence and language. I don't think this is anything for very young children, but I don't see a reason why older teens shouldn't be able to enjoy it.The DVD has some nifty features to offer. First off, the picture quality is GORGEOUS. Even though it is an animated movie, the picture quality is fantastic and it really shows if you have great home theater system. The sound is also very good. Extras included are featurettes, music videos, storyboard comparisons, trailers and more. You can also watch it in the original Japanese audio track or the dubbed English one. I have to say, they do a great job of dubbing it in English. If you're not a fan of subtitles, then check it out in English. Overall, a very cool DVD package.If you're looking for a wild and exciting trip filled with humor and thrills, "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie" is just for you. Again, you do not have to have seen the actual TV series to understand the characters or the story. The movie does a fine job of standing on its own. This is truly a great movie that shows you just how exciting anime can be. Definitely a favorite. -Michael Crane"
You'll LOVE this movie!
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 04/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Spike, Jet, Faye and Ed go after a Bio-terrorist worth a LOT of money. Good music from start to end (stay for the credits), with lots of humor and the characters are the same ones we love from the series, no changes like they do with other anime characters when they put them onto the big screen. Lovely camera shots, good quality work and you can tell they spent a lot of time working on the details. When the DVD comes out with lots of extras and both subtitles and dubbing in the English, you can BET your life I'm going to buy it. If you can't wait the DVD is already out from Japan (English subtitles only).
Try to see it on the big screen first. Not only does it seem to live, to reach out and touch you, but you're with other fans of Cowboy Bebop. How can you lose?
Even Ein has a few good scenes!!!
Go see it!"
You either love it or you hate it... and I love it.
Chon-ny | 05/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was lucky enough to live in a place where this movie got a nice wide release... Even though I had already imported the movie and watched it, I wanted to see how they did with the dubbing. In all honesty, I think this is one of the best dubbing jobs EVER done in any anime series. The movie is great, it plays out just like the series did... and keeping in mind that this plays between sessions... and is truly intended to be just a 2 hour long episode, I think it's great. I've seen a couple of reviews saying that they didn't like this movie... that's fine, but I don't think that should detract from the rating that this movie deserves. I loved this movie, so of course I think it deserves a 5/5. And I hated Akira... but I could still respect it enough to see that there was something really really good there... just not my thing. Even if this isn't for everybody, that doesn't mean that it isn't good.
And it IS good. It is very very good. If you're not a fan of cowboy bebop, you probably won't like the movie... but if you are a fan, I don't see how you could NOT like it."
A great choice for my very first anime experience
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My review is aimed primarily at those unfamiliar with Cowboy Bebop and of the world of anime itself, as Cowboy Bebop: The Movie represents my first baby step into a cinematic style I have been curious about for some time. Obviously, I can't compare this film to others of its kind, nor can I comment on how well this movie ties in to the original Cowboy Bebop series. I can only say how much I enjoyed the movie and offer my own comments, for whatever they are worth, about the format of the presentation.This was a new kind of viewing experience for me, and while I enjoyed the movie a great deal, parts of the storyline took a while to sink in or missed me altogether; I'm sure this is because I have no familiarity with the original series. Spike Spiegel is certainly an interesting character; I would not call him an antihero, but he is certainly a hero of a different stripe, as is his whole gang of fellow bounty hunters. Spike can be cryptic at times, and he spends a lot of time sleeping. When the time for action comes, however, he is up and at 'em, doing superheroic things in spectacular fashion. Then there is Faye Valentine, a partner who pretty much does her own thing and looks good doing it. She and Spike almost seem to be working at cross purposes at times, but their own paths converge eventually; the relationship between the two is a mystery to me. Former policeman Jet Black is the general of the bunch, but his arguments for slow, methodical action are rarely acknowledged by Spike and Faye. The most unusual character, particularly for a Cowboy Bebop neophyte such as myself, is young Edward, apparently some kind of hacker savant who oftentimes speaks in a child-like language all her own. Lest I forget, I should also mention the wunderdog Ein.When a tanker truck explodes in the middle of a crowded city, unleashing some type of unknown agent that kills everyone who comes into contact with it, a huge reward is promised to anyone who discovers the culprit and brings him to justice. This reward gets Spike and the gang right on the case, one in which they have a head start - Faye actually saw the man who drove the tanker. This is no regular old bounty hunt, though, as our intrepid heroes soon discover. The man behind the terrorism is planning to kill everyone on the planet with the unknown agent in his possession, and there is precious little time to stop him and save the world. Treating the tanker explosion as an act of bioterrorism, scientists work feverishly to identify what they think is a virus while both the cops and the military make moves to find and stop the terrorist from striking again. Spike and Faye wind their way into this seething world of mystery and hidden danger, only to find that identifying the culprit makes their job that much harder. There is plenty of great action throughout the movie, including several fights and a number of spectacular chases by both land and air. I had a hard time getting a real grip on the story until I made it pretty far into the movie, but the story is a compelling one from the very beginning. Visually, the film is a joy to watch, exhibiting levels of incredible detail and fluidity of movement, really bringing to life every character in the story. More striking than the visuals, though, is the sound. The soundtrack of cutting edge music fits perfectly with the evolving story and stands out as one of the more memorable features of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. Don't make the mistake of dismissing this film and others like it as mere fancy cartoons. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is a marvelous, gritty, realistic presentation of a breathtaking world of serious intrigue and excitement."